I usually limit my concert recommendations to those in and around Boston, but I'm making an exception for That Petrol Emotion playing tonight in Brooklyn. The band arose from the remnants of the Undertones in the late '80s then went dormant after a few albums; they showed great promise and got critical praise, but their clattering rock never found a big audience. Still, they hold a place near and dear in my heart. I ripped off their look from 1987's Babble of writing on sunglasses with correction fluid; photos of me made the college paper and yearbook, but no one recognized the inspiration. 1988's End Of The Millennium Psychosis Blues captured how I was feeling at that time. The first time I saw them live, I knew all the words to their songs even more than the words to a Beatles song they covered; it's not as if "Hey, Bulldog" was ever ubiquitous like other parts of the Beatles catalog, but I certainly listened to TPE far more. I got to interview drummer Ciaran McLaughlin for B-Side Magazine; that I could cover them was a reason I loved writing for B-Side; that I had to battle another writer for the chance was why I loved our staff (The other writer got to interview the Chills, so we were even.)
Anyway, the Undertones reunited and toured a few years ago, so it was
almost inevitable that That Petrol Emotion would follow suit. They were
never hugely beloved, so I hope they find enough of an audience to
warrant another U.S. tour that includes Boston.
Petrol Emotion play with the Mad Scene at 7:30 tonight at the Bell House,
149 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 718-643-6510.